Have you ever thought “there’s got to be a better way to do business than this!”? Well, so have I, and in this post, you’ll learn how to challenge the way business and entrepreneurship are currently done.
There are 3 steps to redefining how people generally think about and do business:
If you’re ready to shake things up and help create a new and better standard with me, read on!
What is “business as usual”?
Looking at how business is done today, or how it has always been done, there’s always this perception of big industry and of businesses that are always just looking out for themselves and their bottom line.
Companies that do “business as usual” are 100% profit-driven.
Recently though, people everywhere have become more aware of the importance and necessity of being ethical, responsible, and sustainable in all spheres of life, which has led to much more discerning clients. So, to keep up with the times a lot of these companies have adopted these values and proudly advertise them as a way to get new clients, and to create a positive reputation for themselves in their communities.
It’s not so simple, however, because a lot of the time these end up being only business marketing tactics and a way to keep people from looking too closely.
“Usual businesses,” say they have certain values and paint them on the walls for all to see, they checkboxes on the “do-good” list, but then they do not actually act on them, do not prioritize them, or even include them in their strategic planning because their real priority is PROFIT.
The pitfalls of not “Walking the Walk”
What these “usual businesses” don’t realize is that by prioritizing profit over everything else they are actually creating a business that is NOT sustainable in the long run.
In this section, we’ll take a closer look at two of these situations and what really happens when a business does not “walk the walk” and doesn’t prioritize its people.
- When a business doesn’t fully commit to their values
Advertizing the values of one’s business but not actually following through with upholding and implementing them will do more harm than good. That is because as soon as you hire someone, as soon as you hire a team, as soon as you get clients, they start to realize that is not really a value of yours, and they start to see cracks in your “good business veneer”, they will run for the hills, and they will absolutely tell EVERYONE about it.
If you are in business for the long haul and if you are here to build something sustainable that is going to scale, at the end of the day, your business relies on the reputation that you create over a long period of time for long-term success, and not prioritizing your values is a surefire way to jeopardize that, maybe even permanently.
Because, if you’re putting this out there and saying you care about this, when you actually don’t, what else are you talking about or putting out there that you don’t actually believe in?
Not prioritizing your values will cost you clients who will not trust you anymore and will leave you with high employee turnover, because employees are leaving when they are in a space that isn’t right for them or doesn’t align with their values and the life they are trying to create, especially after the Pandemic – all of which will ultimately hurt your bottom-line.
- When a business doesn’t show up for its people
Companies often forget that it is the people in their business:
- that is providing the product and creating the services for their clients
- who are showing up every day
- that are bringing the real value
- who are making them money and driving their profit
- who ultimately help them create the impact they want to have
This means that if a business is not taking proper care of its people, not making sure they have a healthy and safe environment to work in, and is not supporting them in their decisions and their roles, it can expect to only ever have employees who will never be as productive as they can be, who will never deliver the best products or services, who have no loyalty to the company, who are there just to get paid and to get out – and who will not hesitate to tell EVERYONE about what a bad employer and business the company is.
None of this will help your business thrive. There’s no way to keep your business moving forward if you’re not showing up for those who make that possible, and that can cost you your business, be it one year or five years from now.
Doing Good Business
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Well, fear not because there are ways to change this and make sure that your business is not just a “usual business” anymore but truly a “good business”.
There’s no reason for making a profit to be mutually exclusive from using your business as a vehicle to do good, and just to be clear on this, here are Sarah Williams’ wise words on the matter:
“I’m not saying don’t profit at all, I think it’s important. As businesses, we need to profit in order to continue to have the impact that we want to have. But, there’s more to the story, and I think people leading with that or brands leading with that are where the change is really going to happen.” – Doing Good Business with Sarah Williams, Transmit Safety Podcast Episode 2
In order to create businesses that are ethical AND responsible AND sustainable, and in which we can not only do well and make a living for ourselves, but also have a positive impact on people, on our community, and on the environment, we must have a more HOLISTIC APPROACH TO VALUES and must make sure to PRIORITIZE PROFIT, PEOPLE AND THE PLANET EQUALLY.
That sounds great, but… HOW exactly does one go about doing that?
GET CLEAR ABOUT YOUR VALUES AND INTERNALIZE THEM
1. Do the leadership legwork of your business (or career), be ethical and strategic and define the values, the mission, the direction, and the vision that you have for your business, making sure that you really care about them (If this is already done, start at #2).
2. Once you have that established and are solid in your values, it’s time to put them front and foremost. Look at your business and try to understand what is working and what is not working within it. Ask yourself:
Are we doing the things that we’re supposed to be doing? And how does this serve the business? And how does this support my clients? Is all of it aligned with my values?
This holistic business auditing process is key to aligning or realigning your business and team to make sure everything is on track with the direction that you want to go in and to provide the information you need to make the best decisions to move the business forward.
I know this can be a little tricky to actually formulate on your own. But the good news is that you don’t have to! Rebel Office has been fantastic in helping me align my services and understanding how I can support my clients, and they can help you too. As a special bonus, Sarah Williams, the founder of Rebel Office and my first expert interview guest on the Transmit Safety Podcast: Episode 2 has provided 40% off on the Client Experience Audit from Rebel Office for our Transmit Safety community.
3. Make sure you are hiring people who are the RIGHT FIT for your business or projects. Be sure to say: “This is what we care about, if you care about this too, let’s do this together.” Doing this is very important because ultimately skills can be learned, but being a good fit organizationally can’t easily or quickly be changed.
4. Create an environment or a workplace that’s healthy and safe, where people can show up and shine and do what they love. Give every person within your organization fair compensation and opportunities for professional development and make sure you are actually supporting each individual in being successful in their role. Remember:
“…someone who is actually happy at their job, who loves to contribute, who is a good cultural fit for your company, who likes showing up and putting their all into it, while maintaining their boundaries and living their own lives, because that’s important as well. They are going to output more for you than 3, 5, 10 employees who hate their lives working for you.” – Doing Good Business with Sarah Williams, Transmit Safety Podcast Episode 2
If you’re not quite sure how to create this space I can work with you here at Transmit Safety – a consulting business where I help streamline and simplify health and safety management systems through education, program development, audits, and coaching – to help your business truly prioritize its people.
5. Ultimately, to Do Good Business, make sure to actively try not to do harm to others, and actively do good for yourself, your business, and your team. Try to organize yourself to mostly mitigate or reduce any sort of negative impact that we have on our communities, on the environment, and on the people around us. Lastly, also proactively try to create change and create a healthy and good environment, both for the planet but also for your team.
⚠️ Beware, however, that you don’t necessarily have to make large sweeping, systemic changes. You can make small, little incremental changes to a process or a system as you kind of put in the work and understand what’s not serving you, what’s not serving the workers, and what’s not serving the business in the long run. Remember to not make work for yourself unless you’re not as busy as you want to be.
You can also just show up to work and consider: “how can I support people today?”, “how can I support the people in my organization?”, “how can I support making this a healthier and safer work environment?” and just see where it leads you.
Thank you for hanging on through this entire post! 😁
I feel like this is a very important conversation that needs to happen within our businesses and organizations, and if you agree, feel free to join me and continue this conversation, over on LinkedIn, Instagram (@transmit.safety), or Twitter (@transmitsafety).
Wondering how you can hear and learn more about this topic? You can find all of this amazing information in the first interview episode of the Transmit Safety Podcast: Doing Good Business with Sarah Williams, where Sarah and I talk about all things “Good Business”.
To continue discovering ways to achieve a holistic approach to workplace health and safety, become an impactful Health and Safety leader, and do good business, make sure to tune into the next episodes of the Transmit Safety Podcast and The Do Good Business Podcast.